Thanks to Uncle Nielson, our dentist in training, my three oldest children received the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have horseback riding lessons. They each attended a one hour private riding lesson with a private instructor from Vista Farms.
TS went first. His horse was Beau, a 20 year old male with a very gentle personality. In fact all the horses they use at Vista Farms are very gentle. Many are used in therapy programs. This is particularly good for TS, who still skirts around Gypsy and Xyla, the two family dogs, because they are so jumpy and “scary”.
First TS had to retrieve Beau from his pen.
This is Beau.
He was in an outdoor covered stable and wearing two heavy winter coats which TS got to unclasp and help remove. Lisa explained that letting Hunter go through the motions of caring for the horse would put him at ease, and it worked.
Next was learning to lead Beau to the stable. Lisa told him, “It’s just like leading a big dog.”
A quick lesson on basic horse care and maintenance ensued, like brushing Beau and cleaning out his hooves.
TS was a little skittish through all of this. He isn’t used to animals, especially really big ones. But he braved through it and did really well.
Finally it came time to saddle up and learn to ride Beau.
Learning to post while Beau trotted was the most challenging part of the lesson. TS bumped around a bit at first but soon got the hang of it. Finally at the end of the lesson, the trainer Lisa let him off the lead rope and let TS direct Beau in a circle around the training arena all by himself. It was a proud moment and a huge accomplishment for TS since he was pretty scared of Beau at the beginning.
At the end of the hour it was time to take off the saddle and give Beau a treat.
TS now wants a horse of his own. Assuming we owned a money tree and all horses were like Beau, I’d say yes.
Coming soon: Princess and Buddy’s riding experiences.